Meet Our Staff
Fun David fact:
David took seven years of classical trombone and five years of classical piano lessons. He also sang a solo in the earliest days of Redeemer, long before YouTube!
David Bisgrove, Lead PastorDavid Bisgrove grew up in NJ and moved to NYC for graduate school in 1986. He started attending Redeemer in 1989 and became a founding elder and trustee. David and his wife, Alice, met at a Community Group Sunday Brunch through mutual friends. They now live on the UWS with their daughters, Mary Claire and Charlotte.
David has a MBA and Masters in Public Health from Columbia University and previously worked in healthcare finance and administration. He began working at Redeemer as Director of Finance and Operations in 1998, while also pursuing his M.Div from Westminster Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 2005 as an Assistant Pastor who oversaw Worship and Evangelism, Counseling, Stewardship, and Family Ministries. Now, as Lead Pastor of the WS Congregation, David loves standing at the door on Sundays talking to people on their way in and out of worship. He's a big fan of golf (when he can make it out of the city) and of going on family bike rides to Pier I along the Hudson. And you might also find him at Joe's Coffee or MUD Coffee on Columbus Ave.
Favorite WS Restaurant:
“The Mermaid Inn—their fish tacos are the BEST!”
Jenni Bounds, Children's Ministry Volunteer CoordinatorJenni Bounds grew up in a small town in the mountains of northern Idaho. After graduating with a degree in voice performance from Furman University, she moved to NYC (and the UWS). She intended to stay for only 6 weeks—but that was 18 years ago! She’s worked steadily as an actress, singer and model in theatre, film and TV, and as a makeup artist in between. Jenni has been an active part of Redeemer since moving to the city, and even met her husband, Brent, in a Redeemer Community Group. When she's not chasing after their two sons, Griffin and Wyatt, she's an avid half-marathoner, event planner and tennis player.
As Volunteer Coordinator for our Children’s Ministry team, Jenni helps foster an environment in which parents, families, youth and young professionals desire to share in the lives of young children and teach them about the gospel. “I love gathering people into community and connecting to others,” says Jenni. “My role on the WS team is to gather people into Children’s Ministry and connect them to some of the youngest members of our larger Redeemer community. How cool is that?”
Favorite WS Spot:
"Fort Tryon Park, a little slice of heaven on the northwestern edge of Manhattan, surrounding the Cloisters, overlooking the Hudson River and blocks from the highest point on our island."
Pamela Brown-Peterside, Community Group DirectorPamela Brown-Peterside grew up in Jos, Nigeria and lived in the Midwest (U.S.) and then London before coming to NYC in 1990. She has a background in public health and previously worked in HIV/AIDS prevention among women, first in the South Bronx for 9 years and then in rural Uganda for 2.
Pamela has attended Redeemer since 1998 and came on staff in 2008. She now oversees our Community Groups and spends much of her days meeting with leaders and hearing about their lives and groups. She supports and prays for CG leaders, coaching them on how to deal with the challenging and messy parts of life in community. She's all for discussing real life in the city: "Knowing that the pace and intensity of life in NYC can burn anybody out—it burned me out 7 years ago—I'm always eager to think and talk and strategize about how to enjoy this great city while living in a healthy rhythm of rest, work and play."
Favorite WS Foods:
"My favorite food on the UWS right now is the candied pork belly slider at a place called Say Cheese, just two doors down from the W83 building. The pork bun at Momofuku Milk is also good, but the bun was a bit disappointing. I am also not ashamed to admit that I love the McRib at McDonalds."
Abe Cho, Assistant PastorAbe Cho grew up all over the country, living in Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia and Connecticut. He has his M.Div and Th.M. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was previously the Youth Pastor at First Korean Presbyterian in Hartford, CT and the Director of University Ministries at Citylife Presbyterian in Boston. He is currently a D.Min. candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Jordyn, have been in NYC since 2007 and have three young children, Lydia, Ezra, and Micah.
As Assistant Pastor, Abe's role includes pastoral care and counseling, leadership development, overseeing the Community Group staff, helping shape overall strategy and vision, leading services, and preaching and teaching. Outside of work, you can find him reading, playing volleyball with his wife, or going on "Scooter Adventures" in Riverside Park with his kids. If you really want to stump him, ask him if he's right-handed, left- handed or ambidextrous (he actually doesn't know).
Favorite WS Spot:
“After service you can find me lunching with a friend or my husband at Say Cheese, which is a tiny restaurant next to the W83 building … they have the best Mac ‘N Cheese!”
Ariane Durham, Children’s Ministry Pre-school CoordinatorAriane Durham came to NYC from Indiana fourteen years ago. She was an actress for eight years and taught drama camps. Her voice coach first told her she had a gift with children, and Ariane soon began reconsidering her path. She and her husband, TK, love to sing together. They have two cats—Sophie and Sabel.
Ariane graduated from the American Musical Dramatic Academy and has a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from the New School and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. She teaches three- and four-year-olds at The Brownstone School and was a volunteer Pre-K teacher at Redeemer East Side for three years. As our WS Pre-school Coordinator, Ariane organizes the Pre-k curriculum, sets up volunteers and assists on Sundays. “I have found as I am preparing the curriculum for the children that I myself am integrated into the gospel even more,” says Ariane. “I want the children to understand their part in the big God story—which is the foundation of our curriculum.”
Fun Susana Fact:
"Our fun family pastimes include telling people that our goldendoodle, who looks like a large goofy sheep, is an 'albino Rottweiler with a perm.' We get asked, 'What breed is your dog?' all the time and it gets tiresome!"
Susana Gough, Ministry ManagerSusana Gough is a true New Yorker—she was born and raised in Chinatown by first generation, working class immigrants. She grew up non-Christian and accepted the Lord during her last semester of high school. Susana lives in Hell's Kitchen with her husband, Jonathan, their son, Timmy, and their dog, a goldendoodle named Surely Goodness and Mercy ("Surely" for short). She enjoys cooking for others, grocery shopping in foreign countries, checking out free summer events in NYC, and taking long, eight-mile walks through the city.
Susana's degree is in Cognitive Psychology and she previously worked for Herald Youth Center. She's attended Redeemer since 2003 and came on staff in 2005. Now, as our West Side Ministry Coordinator, she aids our staff, lay leaders and elders by providing administrative support and managing plans for communications, community groups, membership and special projects. "I mind the nitty-gritties so that the vision and ideas of our staff and lay leaders can come to fruition and flourish," says Susana.
Favorite WS Spot:
"The pier at 70th street is my favorite place to read and hang out. I grew up on the water so being near the river always brings peace to my soul in the midst of living life in a very large city."
Bethany Griffith, Children's Ministry DirectorBethany Griffith grew up in Alabama near the Gulf Coast. Even as a teenager, Bethany had a heart for NYC. So she was particularly excited when she got the opportunity to move here in 2008, coming to work for Redeemer Children's Ministry. "That was a season of my life where I really walked in faith and saw the Lord lead the way," says Bethany.
Bethany's degree is in Early Childhood Education. After working for four years within our Children's Ministry, she became our Children's Ministry Director in 2013. "It is my desire that every time children enter the doors of Redeemer, they would experience deep community, gain a greater understanding of the gospel of Christ and of their personal need for a Savior, and have fun!" Outside of work, you can find Bethany hanging out with friends, playing tennis, wandering the neighborhood with her camera, or volunteering with Hope for New York.
Fun Omari Fact:
"One of my favorite summer jobs was as an intern for The Bronx Zoo back in 1993. I mean, when you put wild animals, kids and over-zealous young adults into one area, something beautifully regretful is bound to happen. "
Omari Hill, Community Group Director and Assistant PastorOmari Hill grew up in the Bronx, but moved to Dallas, TX in 1999 and then to Charlotte, NC. He previously worked in retail and information technology. After getting his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary, he served as ruling elder with Christ Central Church, and then as Campus Pastor of Reformed University Fellowship at UNC-Charlotte. Omari and his wife, Cherise, enjoy watching reality shows and eating out with friends. They strive to create environments where their two children, Mia Simone and Preston Harvey, can engage with others in imaginative play. Omari loves his PlayStation, good lectures and books.
Omari came back to NYC to join our staff in July of 2012. He shepherds our Community Groups and their leaders, fostering group and lay leadership growth. "I believe that building community is at the heart of God's mission because it flows from his revealed identity," says Omari. "I long to help others practice the hospitality of God because it is the reversal of man's exile from the Garden."
Favorite WS Spots:
You can often find Tom at the basketball courts along 76th street in Riverside Park. He loves eating at La Boite en Bois and at Big Nick's. And he's a big fan of biking on the Greenway.
Tom Jennings, Music DirectorTom Jennings is originally from Roanoke, VA, but has been in NYC since 1989, living in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and now the Upper West Side. He and his wife, Michelle, were married in 1988 and have two children, Daniel and Leah.
Tom has been attending Redeemer since 1990 and came on staff in 1995. He has a doctorate in music in classical piano from Manhattan School of Music and has taught at Concordia College and Brooklyn Conservatory. Now as the Music Director, Tom plans the four weekly West Side worship services. He also works in community building and mercy ministry alongside professional musicians and conservatory students. Tom says, "One of the most rewarding aspects of being a music director at Redeemer is spending time around the city with other Christian musicians—attending their recitals and concerts or just hanging out, as we try to encourage one another in our faith."
Favorite Spot in W83:
"Sub-cellar storage room, when I've run down there to check something during service and can still hear the amazing worship music. It reminds me that EVERY inch of this building is our great God's house!"
Tiffany Koch, Ministry DirectorTiffany has lived in NYC since 2001, always on the West Side. She went to Duke University for undergrad and her MBA, and she sports a Mike Krzyzewski bobblehead on her desk: "Duke won NCAA national championships both times I was in school. Coincidence? You tell me." She previously worked in fundraising, new market and product development, and social enterprise.
Tiffany first attended Redeemer in 2003. It was then that she says, "I began to understand that broken people getting things wrong wasn't proof of the absence of God or the hollowness of his promises, but instead was proof of how much we need him and how much he loves us." As Ministry Director, she helps David manage the West Side budget and goals, and supports the staff and lay leaders as they develop programs to bring shalom within our congregation and neighborhood. Day to day, she can be found talking with congregants, powwowing with John Hickey (Building Manager for the W83 Ministry Center), and attending community board association meetings.
Fun Michelle Fact:
“I can write backwards, like Leonardo da Vinci did.”
Michelle Koh, WS Community Group InternMichelle Koh is originally from the Jersey Shore, but she found a home in NYC and at Redeemer when she first came to the city for college. Currently, she’s pursuing her M.A. in English and American Literature at NYU. “I always have at least three books with me,” says Michelle. She’s also a diehard Knicks fan regardless of how they disappoint season after season. Michelle frequents and knows most of the staff at Tarallucci e Vino on 83rd and Columbus: “the French toast is delicious!” But her favorite UWS spot is the garden behind St. John the Divine. In August 2013, Michelle joined our staff as a WS Community Group Intern. She helps to make sure our congregation’s needs for community are met. “I never realized just how many different people are drawn into our community at Redeemer West Side,” says Michelle. “It’s really encouraging to meet so many passionate people who pour their gifts into making Redeemer a church that displays Jesus’ love in serving the city.”
Fun Meagan Fact:
"I have a Boston Terrier named Olive. She was the runt of the litter and she is the cutest little thing!"
Meagan Lloyd, Elementary Coordinator, Curriculum SpecialistMeagan Lloyd is a native Californian who grew in the San Francisco Bay area. Her interest in ministry began shortly after becoming a Christian at the age of 13. She attended California Baptist University, where she earned her degree in Christian Behavioral Science and got her Elementary Teaching License. She's taught preschool and 5th and 7th grades. Meagan and her family moved to New York City in 2012. "Maybe my favorite way to spend a sunny afternoon is playing at Mariner's Playground at Central Park with my son, Simon, and my husband, Kendall," she says.
As our WS Elementary Coordinator & Curriculum Specialist, Meagan oversees elementary programming and events, including Sunday curriculum and volunteer coordination. "You will almost always find me fervently typing emails at my desk, or sneaking away for coffee breaks," she says. Meagan is passionate about Redeemer's vision for the elementary program, children's ministry, and the city at large, and she clings to Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Fun Bijan Fact:
"My first-ever car ride was actually in a NYC taxi, on my way home from the hospital. My grandfather was a cab driver!"
Bijan Mirtolooi, Assistant Pastor, Community Group DirectorBijan Mirtolooi’s name is Persian, but he was born right here on the UWS of Manhattan. His family moved to California when he was 2 years old, but after high school he moved back to the Northeast. Bijan previously worked as the college ministry director of a church in New Jersey. He joined Redeemer’s youth ministry staff in 2009, and in August 2013, he became a Community Group Director for our WS Congregation. He holds an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary.
“As a Community Group Director I provide oversight, support, training and pastoral care for Community Groups in our congregation,” says Bijan. The Community Groups he works with include groups meeting on the 80s and 90s, groups in New Jersey, and all the Moms’ groups. Outside of work hours, he’s a baseball fan and an avid reader. “Loving books, I always enjoy browsing at Westsider Rare and Used Books on Broadway between 80th and 81st streets,” says Bijan. “I do lots of reading for work. But leisure time reading usually includes biographies and fiction.”
Favorite WS Spot:
“The platform of my fire escape outside of my kitchen window—with a chair, a cup of coffee and a good book. That's where I love to spend time with God and watch the city slowly wake up.”
Amanda Robinson, Events and Volunteers Manager“I’ve been known to stop strangers to ask if I may pet their dog — and hopefully get a fun conversation out of it too!” says Amanda Robinson. She moved to NYC in April of 2012. Amanda loves chatting with the folks at her local deli or dry cleaners. She often hosts dinner parties. And for time alone she heads to the Chelsea Piers driving range or goes running or rollerblading along Riverside Park.
Amanda became our WS Events and Volunteers Manager in September of 2013. She oversees the Sunday Service Teams and manages WS events and Sunday worship services. “On Sundays, you can often find me talking with visitors and trying to recruit new volunteers,” says Amanda. “I love the unique opportunity that my volunteers and I have to be some of the first to welcome our neighbors and newcomers.”
Regan Stevens, WS Nursery CoordinatorRegan Stevens grew up in Alabama (Roll Tide!) and moved to NYC two and a half years ago. Earlier this year she began working for Redeemer as the Nursery Coordinator for our WS Congregation. She’s also passionate about acting and enjoys every opportunity she has to perform in the city.
Regan's favorite neighborhood attraction is Central Park. She also loves rock climbing, dancing and spending time with kids. And she’s often exploring new things to do in the city: “Every other Friday I get together with girls I have known since junior high school and we go on random adventures around the city, such as taking fencing lessons or visiting the Cloisters.”
For Regan, 1 John 3:18, which says, "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth," is especially meaningful. “People who know me best know that I am a talker,” she explains. “So I find this scripture a good reminder that I should be authentic in the ways I speak to people, not simply giving false or shallow praises. And it also reminds me that words can be empty, but a kind action can change a person's day and show them love in a real way.”
Fun Esther Fact:
“I love to Karaoke. This is an activity that I can do any day, any time.”
Esther Suh, Community Group InternEsther Suh was born in Boston and is still a huge fan of the NE Patriots. But she spent most of her childhood growing up in Southern California, and having moved to NYC in 2010, she hopes to stay here long-term. She’s a former elementary school teacher and former real estate agent for the UWS. Currently, Esther attends Westminster Theological Seminary for her Master’s in Counseling. She loves watching sports—especially football—and she often has people over for a meal. She ranks traveling to new places and exploring the city as her best hobbies. Her favorite book is John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.
Esther became a WS Community Group Intern in July 2013. She supports and cares for Community Group leaders and regularly visits the groups. “I'm so thrilled about working for the WS Congregation because this is the neighborhood that has become a home for me,” says Esther. “I'm able to meet and actively care for people in my direct vicinity. If I'm able to help one person feel cared for and grow in the walk with Christ, I know that I am succeeding.”